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After 300 obscene phone calls, company targets caller in court

September 24, 2012|By John M. Glionna
  • nose / flickr
nose / flickr (comedy )

The caller to a Utah company that provides phone services for hearing and speech-impaired clients apparently has no physical disabilities: He just needs to vent – and not in a healthy way.

Since July, the caller has placed more than 300 obscene calls to Sorenson Communications in which he breathes heavily and makes indecent proposals to female employees who answer the phone. If no one picks up, he often leaves graphic voicemail messages.

Now Sorenson has had enough: The firm last week filed a complaint in U.S. district court in Salt Lake City, saying that the calls are harmful and distract employees from handling legitimate calls.

The identity of the caller and why he has targeted Sorenson remain a mystery, according to the lawsuit. The man was referred to as “John Doe” in the court filings, but the caller has at least once referred to himself as Rick Smith. The calls appear to be coming from an area code in the Sacramento area, but officials believe both the name and the area code may be misleading, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit said the caller dials various numbers and has engaged at least 30 employees with indecent proposals.

Officials have called several of the numbers used by the caller and demanded that the calls cease but have not been successful. In the lawsuit, the company says that the calls violate various federal communications laws and thus are punishable by at least a year in jail and five years in federal prison.

Ann Bardsley, a spokeswoman for Sorenson, told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the company “is taking all the proper legal action” to put a stop to the phone harassment.

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john.glionna@latimes.com

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